Havik lays ghost to rest as he and Stroetinga take Six Day Berlin title
25 January 2017
After frustration last year, Yoeri Havik and Wim Stroetinga claimed a hard-fought Six Day Berlin win with victory in the closing 60-minute Madison chase.
In 2016 Havik, riding with Nick Stopler, led for four days, only to be bumped into third place come Day 6 as Kenny de Ketele and Moreno de Pauw took the title.
There was no such upset this year, though, as the Six Day London and Amsterdam winners were powerless to stop Havik and Stroetinga – who eventually sealed victory by a lap and 28 points from the Belgians, with Jens Mouris and Pim Ligthart a further lap and 109 points back in third.
The win was built around solid points accumulation throughout the week, but also Madison victories at key moments – including the closing chases on Days 2 and 3.
And Havik, who finished third at Six Day Bremen just a week ago, was relieved to hold on for the win this year.
“I am super happy,” said the 25-year-old.
“One year ago we were four days in the lead, but then ended up finishing third.
“So I was nervous right until the last lap, but we made it and I am happy with that.”
De Ketele and de Pauw closed the points gap on the overnight leaders to just five in the very first men’s event on Day 6, winning the elimination race ahead of their Dutch rivals.
Earlier in the week Chris Latham had proved himself to be quite the master of the Longest Lap, winning three of the first four, but he had to settle for second place on the final day as Germany’s Maximilian Beyer got the better of him.
Team 12 then got their first win of the week as Nico Hesslich and Achim Burkart took victory in the 50-lap Derny B final, ahead of Henning Bommel and Sebastien Schmiedel, with Tirian McManus and Joshua Harrison in third.
That meant that, going into the final chase, Havik and Stroetinga – leaders since the end of Day 2 – led by a lap and eight points from de Ketele and de Pauw.
Fellow Dutchmen Ligthart and Mouris, as well as Austria’s Andreas Graf and Andreas Muller, were the only other teams just one lap back, meaning the leaders realistically had to look out for just three teams in the chase.
Marc Hester and Jesper Morkov were allowed to take an early lap, as were Hesslich and Burkart and Leif Lampater and Maximilian Beyer.
Trailing by a lap, the Belgians knew they had to make a solo effort if they were to stand a chance of winning, but Havik and Stroetinga jumped on every attack to close it down.
Until, that was, a five-team break got away containing both Dutch teams, the Belgians, Frenchmen Morgan Kneisky and Benjamin Thomas, as well as Graf and Muller.
The powerhouse quintet soon made the junction, but the lap had little impact on the overall standings.
De Ketele and de Pauw again went for a solo break but it wasn’t to be as the leaders closed them down and launched an attack of their own.
The Belgians were not giving up without a fight, though, and they gathered themselves for one last push and took a lap with Havik and Stroetinga – putting themselves clear of Ligthart and Mouris in second place.
With five laps left there was no time for anymore breaks and all that was left was to coast to the line, hands aloft in victory as the Dutchmen took both the race and the overall title.